But behind the energetic spontaneity exists a cautious calculator. He knows that he is vastly out-gunned by Hillary Clinton as things stand -- and though she may be telling the truth to her New York constituents that she has made "no decisions" about running for the Presidency, everyone around her has decided (essentially) that she will run.
Obama, despite the feverish speculation, is RUNNING FOR VICE PRESIDENT.
I was in Senator Jay Rockefeller's office the day that Joe Lieberman lambasted on the Senate floor President Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Rockefeller was furious with Lieberman and roared that Lieberman had just issued his first salvo in a quest to be Gore's VP running mate.
The Lieberman speech happened way before anyone thought he had a chance at the VP slot -- all except Rockefeller, and Lieberman himself.
My hunch is that Obama is setting himself up to be Hillary's running mate. Probably more likely with Hillary than John Edwards.
Clinton and Obama would actually be a pretty impressive ticket.
-- Steve Clemons is Senior Fellow and Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note